American Literature will immerse students in writing that captures the American experience. They will read classic works like The Scarlet Letter, The Bluest Eye, and The Great Gatsby, along with important nonfiction like Lincoln’s The Gettysburg Address and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail, essays by Thoreau and Emerson, and poetry from America’s earliest settlers like Anne Bradstreet, to Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, and more contemporary American voices. This course is not organized chronologically, but rather into three separately themed trimesters. It is designed to complement American history courses of junior year.
First trimester will include summer reading (Bradbury, Morrison, See, and Ford’s novels), The Great Gatsby, and Death of a Salesman. Second trimester will focus on Transcendentalism, poetry, and The Scarlet Letter and concludes with an exam in March. Third trimester will focus on the Southern Gothic tradition and include short fiction, drama, and creative nonfiction which students will read and also write to prepare them for the personal essay writing of senior year.